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Hachette Brings Yen, Orbit Under One Roof

By Rachel Deahl -- Publishers Weekly, 10/23/2008 1:58:00 PM

Hachette Book Group is combining two imprints launched last year, the sci-fi-based Orbit and the graphic novel-focused Yen Press, under one roof, forming a new division taking the Orbit name. According to statement from the publisher, the rejiggered Orbit "will strategically strengthen HBG’s presence in these increasingly vital segments of the book buying market."

As part of the reorganization, Tim Holman, who launched Orbit, will run the new division as v-p and publisher. Kurt Hassler, who was running Yen Press as co-publisher with Rich Johnson, will now report to Holman. Johnson will be leaving Hachette at the end of the month. And Alex Lencicki, who was at Orbit, will keep his title as marketing and publicity director for the new division. Hachette CEO David Young said that while the company was sorry to see Johnson go, it became clear Yen need a single publisher. 

Holman noted that while Orbit and Yen will "continue to develop independently," the new structure will allow the house to combine efforts. According to a Hachette spokesperson, the reorganization will not result in a trimming of Orbit's list; Yen will continue to publish eight titles per month while Orbit will be doing four titles per month in 2009, five in 2010 and six in 2011. As the spokesperson elaborated, the shift is "not a combining or merger of two imprints" but, rather, is about "internal organization."

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